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British Blues Rock - Friday - Week 2

First Wave

The earliest British blues-rock musicians were tireless innovators. Their pioneering experiments in combining traditional blues, rock `n' roll and ethnic music led to many unique amalgams. Today's classic blues-rock lick is a case in point. During the first wave of the British Invasion countless players began to incorporate the East Indian influence into their blues and rock settings. Our lick for September 8 contains one of the most recognizable elements of this type of fusion. The single-note legato descent in measure two is an obvious nod to the slurred articulations of the Indian sitar. This sort of linear phrase is almost always played as a diatonic scale or mode on one string decorated with hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides. Paul McCartney (the Beatles' "Taxman" solo) and Jeff Beck (the Yardbirds' "Shapes of Things" solo) are just two of the most famous recorded examples. Today's lick is in the A Mixolydian Mode (A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G), and is shifted down the second string from the 12th to the 5th position in the course of its sliding legato run. It is played over a resounding G-to-A progression which strengthens the Mixolydian quality of the melody. The lick begins and ends with string bends which lend a bluesy flavor to the ethnically-charged phrase. It is colored with a distorted tone via a fuzz box plugged into a Vox AC-30 amp, also typical of the early phase of British blues rock.

Learn this lick and practice with this jam track
Skill Level: guitar pick onguitar pick onguitar pick offguitar pick off
Key: A


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